Over 500 physicians have signed up against Quebec euthanasia bill

The Physicians’ Alliance for the Total Refusal of Euthanasia, a Quebec organization, is comprised mainly of physicians whose focus of practice is on dying patients.  The group is adamantly opposed to euthanasia.  Over 500 physicians have identified themselves as supporting its Total Refusal of Euthanasia Declaration.  The Alliance has issued a news release denouncing the Quebec government’s new euthanasia bill.

Dr. Catherine Ferrier of the Montreal General Hospital is concerned that virtually all of her patients in the geriatric clinic would be eligible for euthanasia, and that the spectre of euthanasia would haunt “every interaction” with her patients were it to be legalized.  While she is doubtful about whether or not the euthanasia bill can be stopped, she said ” I am certainly never going to kill a patient.” [CJAD]

Dr. Gerald van Gurp, whose opposition to euthanasia is informed by developments in his homeland, the Netherlands, is a palliative care and emergency physician at Montreal’s Hotel Dieu Hospital.  He argues that most Quebeckers do not have access to quality palliative care, and that the solution to that problem is to provide access to high-quality palliative care, not euthanasia. [Montreal Gazette]

Dr. van Gurp said that he would not continue to provide home palliative care for terminally ill patients if the euthanasia bill passes.  “I’m not going there,” he said.

Speaking for the Alliance, Dr. Marc Beauchamp described the bill as “an enormous revolution in ethics and law.” [CBC News]

One thought on “Over 500 physicians have signed up against Quebec euthanasia bill”

  1. In view of the proposed legislation, the maintenance of freedom of conscience in health care in Quebec will depend heavily upon the willingness of physicians and other health care workers to clearly assert and defend their refusal to participate in the practice, and to insist that their fundamental freedoms be fully respected.

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